Saigoneer

Hẻm Gems: Cam Cam Kafe and the Fujian Pagoda That Inspired Its Name

I wish I could claim that I discovered Cam Cam Kafe by myself. Tucked away in a corner unit up the second floor of a nondescript apartment in District 5, the coffee shop seems mostly undetectable from a pedestrian’s perspective. And that’s by design.

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Hẻm Gems: A Canal Cafe and Bar as Rustic as Its Name Promises

Driving leisurely along Hoang Sa Street, I stopped in front of a small coffee shop called Lao Hac — a retro-style cafe that's hidden behind the perennial flowering vines within sight of Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal.

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Hẻm Gems: At Ngọt Cafe, a Treasure Trove of Saigon's Childhood Snacks and Knick-Knacks

To me, Saigon is not just a city, it is the people, the lifestyle and the cafés.

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Hẻm Gems: Pandan and Durian Gelato for a Sizzling Summer Day in Saigon

My earliest memory of ice cream in Saigon involves savoring Kem Bach Dang’s renowned kem trái dừa: scoops of coconut ice cream in a coconut husk topped with an assortment of fresh and jammed fruits.

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Move Over Fish Pedicures, Coffee With Koi Is the New Fishy Trend in Saigon

Do you love ornamental fish? Do you wish to be closer to these majestic marine creatures but the murky pond water and hawk-eyed security guards always get in your way?

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Hẻm Gems: In Tan Binh, VND4,000 Is All You Need for Good Bia Hơi

Bia hơi for the people.

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Hẻm Gems: Cozy Autumn Flavors at Tokyo Moon, Japan Town's Korean Cafe

Tokyo Moon's presence is an odd-but-welcoming representation of South Korean hospitality in the heart of Le Thanh Ton's "Japan Town" with its mysterious herbal tonic, sweet potato pastry and pumpkin coffee.

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Hẻm Gems: At Things Café, Humans, Cats and Nat King Cole Coexist in a Harmonious Ecosystem

I admit that it’s taken me great pains to write this week’s Hẻm Gem.

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[Video] 80 Years of Cà Phê Vợt in Saigon's Oldest Cafe

Is there anything as iconically Saigon as having a cup of joe in a hẻm while watching traffic roll by?

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Hẻm Gems: Refreshing Đá Me and a Touch of Pre-1975 Tunes at 81 Cafe

Given the city’s hot weather, cold drinks are Saigon's very own specialty. While cà phê sữa đá and trà đá are timeless staples, in recent years we have also witnessed the rise of milk tea shops in almost every corner of the city. These drinks provide that jolt of caffeine one needs to start or get through the day, finishing with a pleasant taste. On the non-caffeine end of the spectrum, Saigon's menu of fruit- and vegetable-based drinks is as diverse as the list of possible ingredients.

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Hẻm Gems: Cocktails and Conversation at Saigon’s Classiest Sidewalk Spot

Update: As of January, 2018, City Beer Station HCMC has moved to 94A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Dakao Ward, D1.

In the daytime, you wouldn’t give the storefront at 16 Pham Ngoc Thach a second look. Apart from its tropical-themed wallpaper, the District 3 café is pretty run-of-the-mill, cluttered with low wooden tables and chairs, its walls advertising the WiFi password every few feet.

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